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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9288

Mr WYATT (Hasluck) (13:13): I rise to speak today on this motion put by my good friend and colleague the member for Ryan ahead of Australian National Flag Day this Wednesday 3 September. I endorse the words of the members for Bass and McEwen on the same issue.

National pride is hard to define and encapsulate. It is something different for everyone. For me it is epitomised on Australia Day and many other occasions, when we see Australians from all walks of life proudly flying the flag and witness new Australians taking the oath of citizenship and enjoining in our nation. The sense of pride that I get when I welcome new citizens and see them wave their Australian flag is unparalleled. This sense of pride is felt across the nation when we compete as Australians in sporting events such as the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. Again, the common icon here is the Australian flag and, equally, the Southern Cross, which is a reflection both of contemporary Australia and of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in whose stories the cross plays a significant part.

Who can forget moments such as when Australians stand on the dais to receive their gold medal at the Olympics and the Australian flag lowers above them as the national anthem is sung? Our flag has been with us as a nation and as a people through the best of times and the worst of times. It is that stable, recognised encapsulation of Australia and what it means to be Australian.

When I drive around the electorate of Hasluck, it is becoming more and more noticeable how many residents are proudly flying the Australian flag in front of their homes on a flagpole that they have installed. It is also great to see many businesses fly the flag out the front of their businesses as well. One that comes to mind is WestWide Auto Recyclers, in the industrial area of Maddington. Every year they come to my office and request a new flag for their flagpole—and they do not just get a regular sized flag either; they request one of the largest sizes possible and, when people drive past their business, it is incredible to see this huge flag flying next to the road. It has become somewhat of a landmark in the area, as people know it as 'the car place with the huge flag'. It certainly grabs your attention and thoughts when you see it.

This brings me to a good point. Not many people know that they can get an Australian, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flag from their local members to fly proudly either in their homes or within their businesses. I encourage everyone to make use of this resource and opportunity, and look forward to many from my electorate of Hasluck contacting my office to request a flag.

As the motion has indicated, Australian National Flag Day is this Wednesday and, to commemorate that, I visited Dawson Park Primary School in Forrestfield last Friday. I took the opportunity to address the school assembly about National Flag Day and to present the school with a new Australian flag so they could fly it proudly.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 13:06 to 13:32

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mrs Griggs ): The Federation Chamber is resumed.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives

Sitting suspended from 1 3:32 to 16:01

Debate interrupted.